Mike Brock <brockm@...>
John Stokes writes:
"When you get to the end of your commentary on freight car percentages and what UP might have been running in a consist in a given time period, you end up with virtually nothing concrete but using the national averages to play around with it, and vary from day to day, and let it rip."
Well...not quite. I think I said that I would modify the theory to increase the % of closely associated RRs...Milw, C&NW, CB&Q and SP...and basically use the other per centages as projected by the theory. I would add the necessary cars to simulate in a compressed mode a few unusual trains like the case of a lumber train with about 30% of it in the form of SP box cars.
"The other factor that seems to be evident is that the UP is not typical of many railroads, given its national significance and overland route that channeled a lot of freight across the West, and the same time period for the CB&Q would produce a very different mix of cars, given the nature of the Q and the types of traffic it generated, as an example comparison."
Possibly so...although I have not analyzed CB&Q consists. My guess is that Santa Fe would be closer to the UP, absent, of course, an increase in Milw, CB&Q, SP and UP cars.
"All of this is speculation piled on infinite possibilities based on very small snapshots of what happened in a really great big country over thousands of days, every one of them different and reflective of an ever changing rail scene and traffic and commodity trends."
True enough. I have frequently noted the tiny size of the data. Still...it IS interesting that the data does support the theory fairly well.
"If spending inordinate amounts of time agonizing over this and trying to match real consists on your favorite railroad on a given day or month or year floats your boat, then go to it, but I think Gene has a cogent question, and I have seen no good answers yet."
Well, anyone who knows me knows that I don't agonize over anything associated with this hobby. You might note that I changed the subject heading to "A purpose..." My message explains why I think the theory is useful and the way I would and do apply it. If others find it to not be worthwhile...that's up to them.
Another aspect of studying frt conductor books, BTW, is that, in the UP case, some RRs are not represented to the extent of their %. NP boxcars, for example, are not as common in the 35 UP trains as the theory projects...in direct conflict with Brock's Fifth Rule of Frt Cars.